Poll shows Virginia real estate market favors sellers

Roanoke College poll shows prices up, sellers' confidence high

By Tommy Lopez - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - It's a seller's market, according to a real estate poll Roanoke College released Monday. The findings show both prices and sellers' confidence are on the rise as the number of homes on the market is dropping.

The poll shows all major cities in Virginia have rising home prices. The median list price for homes is up compared to the median price for the past 17 years. It's increased 25 percent in Roanoke, more than 20 percent in Lynchburg and more than 17 percent in Blacksburg.

A low supply is a major reason for the price hike. Developer and Realtor Steve Bodtke said Blacksburg has certainly experienced a drop in the number of houses on the market.

“We are definitely in what's considered a seller’s market," he said. "This year has been a little different because there are many buyers and a low inventory.”

And people who are looking to sell homes have confidence. After a six-month drop, optimism is nearly back to its record high from May of last year. Half of the people who responded in the poll say today is a better time to sell than a year ago and 42 percent more Virginians are optimistic about the real estate market today compared to a year ago.

“The market in the New River Valley is very, very strong," Bodtke said.

Corie Carr is looking to sell right now in Blacksburg.

"We do feel really lucky that the market is favorable for us and clearly people want to live in the New River Valley and particularly in Blacksburg. It's a beautiful area," she said.

But it means buyers may have to pay more and act with a sense of urgency.

“When you are ready to make a decision you have to make it quickly and you have to do things in the proper order, which means get to the bank first," Bodtke said.

After hitting a low in 2016, mortgage interest rates are expected to keep increasing, which could hurt buyers. Rates are staying at about 4.5 percent right now.

Bodtkey said unless they rise dramatically, at least over 5 percent, they still shouldn't have a major impact on people's purchasing choices.

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